Alabama has been recognized twice in recent months from national publications focused on economic development.

The most recent honor comes from Business Facilities, who ranked Alabama’s business climate tops among the states in a new analysis that examined performance in several key economic categories.

“In Alabama, they’ve nailed the economic development fundamentals — maximizing resources with regional cooperation, a diverse growth strategy, world-class workforce training — and they’re running up the score with one big-ticket project after another,” the publication writes.

The publication cited Alabama’s successful recruitment of the Toyota-Mazda joint venture automobile manufacturing plant to illustrate the state’s appeal. The project, announced in January, calls for a $1.6 billion investment and 4,000 new jobs in Huntsville.

Alabama’s auto industry, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, is one of the major factors in its annual economic growth. (contributed)

In addition to the No. 1 ranking for Best Business Climate, the publication gave the state high marks for growth potential and workforce training and ranked the state:

  • 2 among Workforce Training Leaders
  • 3 for Free Trade Zone Activity (exports)
  • 4 for Economic Growth Potential
  • 5 for Manufacturing Employment Concentration
  • 6 for Automotive Manufacturing Strength

This recognition follows the news that the national publication, Area Development, has again selected Alabama as a recipient of the Silver Shovel Award for its economic development successes in 2017. It’s the state’s fifth consecutive year to receive the award.

Area Development noted that Alabama earned the top honor after landing several major projects in 2017:

A rendering shows the 800,000-square-foot Mercedes-Benz Global Logistics Center in the Scott G. Davis Industrial Park in Bibb County. (Gray Construction)

The state’s 2017 economic development results are outlined in the Alabama Department of Commerce’s “New & Expanding Industry Report”. The report provides a detailed look at nearly 40 projects recorded in the state during another solid year of business recruitment and support. Exact totals for 2017 were $4.4 billion in new capital investment and 15,464 anticipated jobs.

Area Development’s Gold and Silver Shovel Awards recognize the overall economic development effectiveness of state economic development efforts.

Alabama has won one of the awards each year since 2006, when it won a Gold Shovel. It won another Gold in 2012 and Silver awards in other years.